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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Librarian by Larry Beinhart

The Librarian by Larry Beinhart. New York: Nation Books, 2004. ISBN: 1-56025-636-2

This book is a must-read if lightweight entertainment for anyone, especially librarians, unhappy with the outcome of the recent presidential election. This political action adventure thriller features our current president only loosely disguised—the president in this story started THREE wars, not just two—but otherwise appears to be pretty much undistinguishable from the Shrub.

The story centers around a university librarian who begins moonlighting for a rich old real estate mogul, organizing his vast collection of papers and computer files. Turns out this aged right-wing manipulator has been involved in some shady political activities on behalf of the president and other right-wing causes, and some of his associates don't like the idea of a librarian snooping around. They bungle their initial attempts to get rid of him, and the next thing we know, our sedentary librarian turns into an unwitting not to mention unwilling action hero, falls in love with and co-opts the lovely wife of one of the chief bad guys, and generally manages to raise cain.

The story comes to a head as the bad guys, working under the auspices of Homeland Security, attempt to steal the presidential election through a series of shenanigans, including blowing up the Statue of Liberty and claiming it to be the action of terrorists. The librarian manages to get the goods on them, uncovering another plot, this one to persuade—blackmail, actually—several Electoral College electors to throw their votes, contrary to the voters in their state, to the incumbent, who has, incredibly, managed to narrowly lose the actual election.

Much of the events portrayed in this somewhat unlikely and superficial story are quite literally over the top, but should prove irresistibly amusing to those who have little or no liking for the current president and his vision of America and the world. Definitely recommended, but those who support our current president may find it more annoying than amusing.

BTW, this book has absolutely NO connection to the about-to-be-released TNT made-for-television movie of the same name.

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